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Building Your Next Sprint With Eylean Board

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Building a sprint is not only a difficult but also a very important task. You need to identify the priorities and set realistic goals for the whole team at the same time providing a meaningful result in the end. So there is no surprise many struggle in the beginning and even the most experienced Scrum Masters sometimes run into trouble.

While there are no definite guarantees against anything in this world it is always better to face uncertainty prepared and sure in your processes. This is exactly what Eylean Board goal is and here are 5 ways planning your next sprint with our tool will make you not only more sure of your process, but also happier.

Easy start

They say, having a successful start is half the job and in fact whatever it is we do, starting it is often the most difficult. Therefore with Eylean we made the start as easy as possible – all you need to start planning your next sprint is dragging and dropping your chosen user stories. You can even play around by moving them back and forth! Once you are set on the sprint backlog, double click the desired story, add detailed information, due dates, attachments and divide it into as many tasks as needed. You can even add su-btasks to the tasks and sub-sub-tasks to the sub-tasks. Forget the messy cards, lost information or unclear DODs, with Eylean everything is in one place and accessible to the whole team at any given time.

Scrum User Story Details2

Comparable estimations

Once you are done with choosing the user stories, it is time to involve your team. Here is where it is sometimes hard to decide which task will take what time and comparing them to each to each other may become simply uneasy with a new team. While we cannot do all of the work for you, Eylean Board neatly displays all of the estimations on the top right corner of each task as soon as you enter it. Thus making it easy to visualize, compare and discuss the estimates while looking for the best mutual decision.

Scrum Story Point

Intuitive team management

Keeping track of what is happening with every single team member in the team can become a hassle. You don’t want to be the annoying boss and the team will not likely report every single action they take even though you need to know it. Just to make sure the important stuff is getting done. Eylean doe not only show which team member is responsible for which tasks, what is their progress and if there are any issues, it also provides you with a quick information resume in the form of a dashboard. You can check how many tasks where completed that day, how many hours worked and the assignments left for each team member to do.

Scrum Dashboard

Automated reporting

Just like keeping your eye on the team, tracking your progress is no less important than planning the work. When it comes to a cumulative workflow, it is imperative to keep a steady pace, but generating such graph can be burdensome. With Eylean you can forget the trouble – automatically generated cumulative workflow, burndown chart and many other reports are always live and ready for your keen eye. cummulative Task moving between sprints

Lastly, no matter how good your planning is, there might be some hurdles on your way and the team will have to move some of the tasks to the next sprint. You may start to worry about moving all of the information, not missing anything important, but when you have Eylean Board, simply remember the fun drag&drop feature. Click that unfinished story and move it right into the next sprint, with all of the information in tact and ready to be worked on.

What gets you the most when running sprints? Share with us in the comments!

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What Makes A Scrum Master

trainerComing into the Agile world, we not only encounter new rules and practices, but also gain new roles to enforce them. Some of them are quite clear, like being a team member and completing tasks to add incremental value to the process. Others are a little less self-explanatory and require a deeper understanding and training in Agile. One of the most misunderstood roles is the one of a Scrum Master. While this is one of the most important ones for the Scrum team, it often gets neglected or reduced due to the lack of knowledge and experience. So what should a Scrum master be? Let’s see.

Scrum Master is defined as a person who is accountable for removing impediments to the ability of the team to deliver the product goals and deliverables. In other words, it is not about being a traditional team leader, but more about being a guide for the team to navigate difficulties and achieve success. It is in fact because the Scrum Masters role is hardly found within any other project management approaches rather than Agile, that it makes it difficult to understand and easy to misinterpret by those new to the approach.

A good Scrum Master is a listener and a facilitator first, a coach and a leader second. They should be able to not simply lead, but to create self-organizing teams that make their companies successful. They should also be the most knowledgeable and the most enthusiastic about Agile, thus relaying their passion onto the team. However, as you can guess, working on this team level is temporary only the first step in the Scrum Masters process.

All in all this role is composed out of three gradual steps – the team, the intercompany relationships and the entire system.

  • The first step is the Scrum Masters team. From the very start the person in this role is responsible for making sure the team functions well. For that they have to explain how the Agile process works, facilitate meetings, help remove any issues and coach the team so that eventually they become self-sufficient and only need assistance in extraordinary situations.  So the first step is all about assisting and guiding the team.
  • The second step speaks about relationships. Once the team processes are all figured out and running smoothly, the Scrum Master should shift their focus outward. The relationships between the team and other entities should become the focal point as well as facilitating them and aiding the product owner in building a greater overall vision. Contrary to the first step, this one is continuous and never stops.
  • The third and the last step of a Scrum Masters responsibilities is overseeing the entire system. Here they have to distance themselves even further and take a look at the whole company. See what should be fixed at the organizational level, help growing leaders and coach the whole organization to be agile.

Contrary to the popular first impression, Scrum Master is not only responsible for coaching the team, but should also be able to see the greater vision and aid the whole organization in their efforts to be Agile. Coaching the team and enabling them to work efficiently is only the first step and part of the job and focusing solely on it hurts not only the image of some Scrum Masters, but also the organization that misses out on great advice and the possibility to be steered in the right direction.

A scrum master should be a great guide and facilitator, someone passionate and positive about Agile and someone that has the ability to see not only their team, but the whole company steering them into the right direction. A positive attitude never hurts as well!

 

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The Best Agile Articles Of 2016 (Part 2)

BEST-OF

This is the second part of the favorite Eylean articles of 2016. The top 5 brings us back to the beginning of Agile application, a lot of great advice on how to make sure you succeed as well and a nice example that it is not for software developers alone.

Keep on reading to find out more!

 

5th place – Choose The Right Agile Method

Agile methodologies might seem tricky, especially if you are choosing one for the first time. See what the key differences between the different options are and choose the right one based on the type of work you do.

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The Best Agile Articles Of 2016 (Part 1)

BEST-OF

As the holiday season and the New Year approach, I wanted to take some time and review your favorite Agile articles of 2016. Maybe you’ve read them all already or maybe there is still something new and exciting to learn.

Without any further ado lets dive in.

 

10th place – Top 5 Most interesting Scrumban Boards

Learn all about the creative and clever ways to organize your Scrumban boards. These teams are certainly doing it right.

Source: Drew

Source: Drew

 

9th place – The Ultimate Agile Guide

The inside look into the way Agile functions, how to choose the right approach and not to fail during the first week. Enjoy the tips & tricks gathered from our experience.

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8th place – Agile Hierarchy – How Are The Methods Related?

Ever wondered how all of the Agile methods relate to each other? From which method, did another evolve? We have all of your answers in one nice Agile family tree.

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7th place – Transitioning to Agile: Running Effective Meetings

When transitioning to Agile it may be difficult to grasp what counts as an effective meeting. Instead of wondering if you are doing a good job, take a look here and know for sure.

Startup Stock Photos

 

6th place – The SAFe Way To Scale Agile

Is your company ready to move Agile from small teams and into the company mindset? Learn all about scaling Agile with the SAFe method and see if it could be a solution for you.

SAF'e

To be continued with the top 5 articles next week – keep on reading the year is not over yet!

 

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Tips & Tricks On Using Agile

tips-tricksTaking on Agile can be a tough challenge, especially if you have no previous experience with it and have no one to coach you. The good news, however, are that all it takes is time and determination to take over and understand. To make that process more smooth for both you and your team, we came up 17 tips and tricks. Use them to reach your goals sooner and more easily.

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Choose The Right Agile Method

Choose-Agile-method for posting

The next big question after deciding to go Agile is deciding which of the methods is right for you- will you go with Scrum, SoS or SAFe? While this decision is not an easy one and will take careful considerations, there are some aspects to each of the method that can help you along the way. Below you will find our easy 3 step process that will guarantee you consider the right options from the start.

 

Choose-Agile-method

For more helpful Agile cheats and tips see The Ultimate Agile Guide.

 

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Scrum vs. Kanban vs. Scrumban – What’s the difference?

Scrum-Kanban-Scrumban for postingUnderstanding how do Agile methodologies differ can be a daunting task. Some get confused with the overwhelming amount of information, others are disappointed with the lack of clarity.

Ideal way is to have everything at single glance and compare pros and cons in each framework. To make sure it is easy enough, we present a short and clear table listing the main differences and similarities between Scrum, Kanban and Scrumban.

 

Scrum-Kanban-Scrumban

 

For more helpful Agile cheats and tips see The Ultimate Agile Guide.

 

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Transitioning to Agile: Understanding the Methods

agile processAgile is not a new concept in the business world by any means – it is being adopted to more and more various fields, innovated and even discarded by some teams that feel they have had enough and are ready to move on. However, as the Agile reign continues, we find some of the practitioners are still trying to figure out how exactly to be Agile. For this, we are launching a series of blog posts explaining and answering some of the questions most new Agile users have.

To practice any methodology, first you have to know what it actually is and we find that there is still a lot of confusion out there about what exactly can be called Agile. So is Agile equivalent to Scrum as many out there believe? Or is Agile an ancestor of Extreme Programming? Let us try and explain everything.

Agile is a term that describes an effective way of working. It was introduced to the mass public by the release of the Agile Manifesto in 2001 and while it does specifically outline 4 values and 11 principles to be followed by the Agile teams, it does not include any particular methodology or recommendations of a methodology to be followed. So in itself, Agile is simply a framework to be followed.

Naturally, after the creation of the Manifesto, the practitioners felt a need of a clear method to be followed and thus the search has begun. Some looked into existing project management tools and though how they could be made to fit the Agile framework, others created whole new concepts and methods completely from scratch. Thus today we have a wide variety of Agile methods to choose from and new ones coming up every single day. Check out our Agile method genealogy tree.

So to answer the questions we have posed in the beginning, Agile is not Scrum, not XP and not any other method in particular, but all of the methods that comply with the Agile Manifesto are Agile. And as long as you are practicing one of them, your team is Agile too.

 

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All About the Scrum of Scrums

SoS2

It is becoming more and more evident that the future of Agile lies in large companies and scaled approaches. It may be hard to believe at first, but the data of Agile usage in 2015 proves this is where the methodology is going next. One of the most popular ways to scale Agile today is Scrum of Scrums. And while many companies have adopted this practice already, we thought it might be interesting for others to know just how exactly it works.

Scrum of Scrums has been originally defined by Jeff Sutherland and is designed to deliver working software of all teams to the Definition of Done at the end of the Sprint. To make sure this happens, the Scrum of Scrums Master is held accountable and has to be able to ensure that all the processes works. But before getting into the details, let us step back to the beginning.

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The Future of Agile

Agile-2016-teaserThe recently released State of Agile Report has not only brought great statistics, but also raised a few questions about just where Agile might be heading next. How will it look like in a couple of years, which interest groups will shape it and how much of what we today call Agile will actually change?

 

To get a better grip on these and other questions, we took another hard look at the stats and came up with what we think the answers will be. Check out the info-graphic below to find our predictions for the future of Agile.

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